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Savings Bonds for Retirement and College

We are finally finishing up our series on the ways families can save for their most important financial priority (retirement), yet still have some money for future college costs and maybe qualify for need-based financial aid. We’ve already talked about contributing to at-work retirement plans, IRAs, and Roth IRAs, and you should probably use those vehicles before considering any other ways to save. But there’s one more vehicle that will appear to boring, yet has a certain attractive feature for families who start saving early enough. Read More...

IRAs for College

We’re still discussing ways families can save money for top financial goals (like retirement), qualify for need-based financial aid, and yet use their savings to pay for their kids’ college costs if the need (and opportunity) arises. We’ve already talked about the most important tools, like pre-tax retirement accounts (401ks and 403bs), and Roth IRAs. This week will talk about the ways parents can use money in traditional IRAs to cover higher education expenses. Read More...

Financial Aid

According to the 2016 How America Pays for College report from education lender Sallie Mae, on average families get about a third of the cost of an undergraduate education from grants and scholarships. Generally, this “free” money is more likely to be awarded by schools with higher tuition costs (especially private colleges), and/or to families with lower income and assets. Even when students are fortunate enough to earn grants and scholarships from a school, the money awarded still often only covers a portion of the total expenses. 13% of the average cost of college is paid for by loans, and another 29% comes from parents’ income and savings. The remaining portion is paid for by student income and savings (12%), parent borrowing (7%), and money from relatives and friends (5%). To qualify for most institutional financial aid and federal student loans, students and their families have to apply for financial aid. Read More...

Paying for College from Loans, Savings and Income

We’re spending a few weeks helping families of college students figure out how to pay the bills for the upcoming semester (and beyond), and hopefully offering some smart money moves to make during this very important (and stressful) time. Read More...

Off to College

In a few weeks millions of young “adults” are heading off to college. The biggest financial concern of theirs (and their parents) is usually making sure tuition and living expenses are covered. But there are some other smaller-but-still-important money moves that should be considered, both to protect the kids from potential dangers, and get them off on the right financial foot. Read More...

Smart School Choices

As you no doubt remember, we’ve designated March as “Millennial Money Month”, and we’re going to spend these weeks discussing life and financial issues faced by young adults, ages 18 or so to 35 or so. Read More...

Start Saving for College

Last week we suggested that parents who were prioritizing “saving for college” should put their own retirement, savings, debt, and estate planning needs first.


Before Saving For College

According to the most recent College Savings Indicator study from Fidelity Investments, younger parents named “saving for college” their top financial priority.


College Savings Month

September is “National College Savings Month”, a campaign ostensibly designed to send worried parents scurrying off to set aside some money for their children. But before you moms and dads divert your dollars towards this specific purpose, there are a few financial goals that should be given priority.


Staying Financially Independent

Last week’s column was a timely discussion of how you can find out how much money you need to become financially independent, as well as the way you can check on your progress towards that goal.

Of course, becoming financially independent is one thing. Remaining at that status is entirely another, and certainly deserves some attention.

Here’s how to use a few rules of thumb to increase the chances of your nest egg lasting at least as long as you do.


Buying a Home While Paying Student Loans

We returned from a well-deserved break to find that our e-mailbag has begun to fill up with questions (admittedly, it’s a very small bag). So we decided to empty it out and provide some answers.

This week’s question is from a young man who wants to know how he can “start a family and buy a house” after he graduates from college, especially if he has a substantial amount of student debt. We’re not comfortable coaching readers on how and when to start families, but hopefully these tips will help him accomplish his other financial goals.


Life Advice To New Grads

Last week we had a few hopefully-useful specific financial tips for new college graduates. But there are even more important decisions younger adults will have to make that will have a great effect on their money, and their lives.

Here are few things that some of us who are older had to learn from experience, and wish we had known a little sooner.


Money Advice To New College Grads

This time of year is when millions of Americans (mostly younger, some not so much) will stride across a stage to accept their diplomas from some type of higher education institution.

As a token of our congratulations, we will spend the next few weeks imparting some (hopefully) valuable money and life lessons to these new grads.

Since this column is entitled “On Your Money”, it’s probably best to start with the money lessons first.


College Savings Plans

This Friday is May 29th, also known as “5/29”. Since we’re discussing the best ways to save and pay for higher education expenses, it seems appropriate to devote this week’s column to 529 college savings plans.

(Unfortunately the ability to make topic tie-ins that are this clever can’t be taught at any college or university).


It's Possible To Pay For College

Graduation time is here again, and once again parents of younger children realize that they are that much closer to having to come up with tens of thousands of dollars to help pay for their kids’ higher education expenses.

To alleviate some of the understandable stress experienced by these families, we’ll spend the next few weeks on the topic of how you, too, can actually afford to send your kid to college.